It wasn’t exactly the birthday Dak Prescott would have planned for himself – he had a slight muscle strain in his shoulder – but considering he fought his way back from a compound ankle fracture 100 percent earlier in the season? Dallas Cowboys training camp, he doesn’t complain either. The two-time pro bowler retired from training on Wednesday after feeling pain in his throwing shoulder, and an MRI revealed the strain, but also that it wasn’t something heavy. So neither Prescott nor the cowboys are concerned, but he does have time to throw the pigskin.
At least with his right arm, because Prescott was back in training and doing exercises on Thursday, but instead threw the ball back with his left arm.
“Just a little shoulder pain. A bit of shoulder pain, I should say, and tightness, ”Prescott said when describing the injury to WFAA Channel 8’s Joe Trahan. “I felt it a little [on Tuesday] and i came out [on Wednesday] and wanted to work it through but I just felt like I should be smart. We have a long time ahead of us.
“I’m going to take a day off or something and then go back to work. I didn’t want to get anything that could possibly make it worse.
“All is well.”
That’s the vibe around the building as the team gets ready to set the calendar to August instead of September or later. In other words, Prescott has plenty of time to recover from what CBS Sports sources describe as a “rust” injury, meaning the 27-year-old is getting his body back in top shape after having since dropped out on rehab last October – followed by unleashing in OTAs and mini camps. When Prescott stepped into the 11v11 field last week, it was the first time pain had to appear in nine months but not yet surgically repaired (and then surgically reinforced) ankles is an absolute win for everyone Involved.
So when can Prescott throw again? Well, head coach Mike McCarthy calls it a matter of days – not weeks.
“A couple of days,” McCarthy told the media on Thursday. “Two or three days? Is that a couple of days? A couple of days?
“I’m trying to find a little flexibility here. So please give it to me. … I’m not a doctor. I can’t talk much about this stuff.
“I think when you have a fatigue injury [and] you might be over analyzing it. But based on the location and the information I have, it doesn’t really matter. I think it’s wise that he stopped when he did. “
The Cowboys’ plan to play Prescott this preseason is still ongoing.
“Based on what [trainer Jim Maurer] told me – yesterday’s medical report – I don’t see we’re getting off our preliminary plan, ”added McCarthy.
That statement, and the overall plan itself, warrant some clarity for those hoping to find out when Prescott was originally due to field in August this year.
The simple answer is that, according to sources, the cowboys hadn’t made up their minds and wanted to monitor Prescott throughout the camp to see when the best time would be for him. When McCarthy realizes the team’s plan won’t change, he’s right, as they hadn’t finalized it anyway – before the light shoulder strain. Logistically, Prescott would never line up to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, August 5, as it would take him more time to get the game pace back up after the aforementioned month-long absence.
The next opportunity would be August 13th, when the Cowboys head to State Farm Stadium to face the Arizona Cardinals, but that was a long run too. Realistically, the team was and is the August 21 matchup against the Houston Texans at the AT&T Stadium – sources said this week – that could be treated as a rehearsal in the Cowboys’ four-game playlist.
That’s also when the club, and that’s no accident, especially given Prescott’s shoulder problem. There are rumors that Prescott might miss weeks with the disease, but it looks like the plurality of the term “weeks” is around two (rather than six or more), suggesting a possible return in the week leading up to the competition points out against the cardinals; and allow him both this and the next week of training before Prescott returns to the field for the first time by doing it on his home field (a marketing wink from owner Jerry Jones).
He is currently listed as “Everyday” and if he wakes up and feels fine when training resumes on Saturday (Friday is no practice) then Prescott is allowed to throw again. And if not, it will be revisited for Sunday and then Monday, etc.
But six weeks before the start of the regular season against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 27-year-old has more than enough time to get back on the practice field to replay live games in the preseason and then focus on the prepare what will come in 2021. Considering that Prescott had a much worse shoulder problem in 2019 – a sprained AC joint – he could play through while spending a career high 4,902 yards (two shy of breaking Tony Romo’s single-season franchise record) along with 30 Touchdowns to only 11 interceptions.
So if there was a reason for him to get his way now (there isn’t), he would and probably do at a high level, considering that he felt worse without affecting his performance. Most notably, Prescott’s ankle is fine and, aside from a massive kickback, will soon be his shoulder too. While the schedule for the preseason snapshots changes soon, the schedule for the regular season reruns on September 9th remains full force ahead.
Much like the ones he put in the face of teammates while training on his birthday, Prescott wants to eat his cake and eat it as well as he challenges NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2021 and maybe a championship to go with it? .